Bride-to-be plans Shepton Mallet High Street wedding

A SHEPTON Mallet woman is planning her wedding, using only the town’s High Street shops to get everything she needs.

Heather Bryson, who got engaged to Wayne Banks on Valentine’s Day, said: “These days your first thought is to just buy everything online, but if everything is there and available on the high street then why not use it?”

The idea first came to her when she saw a wedding dress in the window of the Sue Ryder charity shop. “The dress in the window didn’t fit, but the staff said they had another out the back – I tried it on and it was perfect.”

Donna Wildwood, assistant manager at the store on Shepton High Street, said: “It’s great to have been involved in Heather’s wedding preparation. I do think the High Street needs some help, it can be soul destroying to see people walking past the shops and up to Tesco and New Look.”

Heather intends to source everything from the High Street, from shoes and makeup to the cake and flowers. “I hope that the wedding will give a positive boost to the High Street. It won’t change anything on its own but it will hopefully get people talking.”

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She is already receiving messages of support and offers of help and discounts, including a suggestion that the wedding ceremony be a part of this year’s Collett Park Festival.

Shepton Mallet councillor Garfield Kennedy said: “There’s at least 70 businesses chipping away on the High Street, and Heather’s wedding will be a living advertisement for the town. I admire her hugely.”

The details of the wedding are still to be finalised, but Heather says that the drinks will be Babycham and cider.

Originally from Birmingham, the family – including Harry, aged 3, and five-year-old Rowan – moved to Shepton in April, coming via Lapland. Two of their huskies made the trip, too.

Their first taste of Somerset life took them by surprise, as they visited the Horseshoe Inn where they were greeted by an army of Morris dancers drinking cider.

Heather quickly got used to the town and has been active in the community ever since, taking part in campaigns to save and improve the bus services and successfully opposing plans to bring a Timpson to Tesco on the grounds that it would damage trade on the high street.

She said: “There are lots of relative newcomers to the town, but we have no less passion for the area than the older locals who want to see the town like it was.”

“It would be horrible for Shepton to become a ghost town; it looks so buzzing and alive in old pictures.

“I have a feeling that it is on the up, and I hope my wedding might capture people’s imaginations.

“Most people have a mother-in-law interfering in their wedding; I have the whole of Shepton!”

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